Do Over Day

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

It’s been one of those days.  There were moments, more than one, when I wanted to hold my hands up to the sky and ask, “Can I erase the last 24 hours and have a do over?”

But that’s a fool’s wish. To wish that life could go backwards and erase, then place before us a new scene all fresh and sparkly clean, is not only futile, it’s self-limiting. Life has a way of serving up our greatest lessons in a bowl filled with needles. They prick us in the exact spot that needs to be healed. They find the wound that was already there, even if it has been buried for a long, long time, and dig in until we bleed fresh.

It’s not always obvious why we’re being pricked and prodded at. Or, why it may seem like we’re being asked to walk over a pile of red-hot coals in order to get to the next leg of our journey.  But, when we allow ourselves to dig down to the essence — that spot that is rubbed raw and open from the wound — we can find a bit of the light behind the story we have just lived.

Today was one of the most challenging days of my life. Maybe not in the top ten, but I’d safely put in in the top twenty-five. It could have been much worse than it was. And, in retrospect, it perhaps wasn’t all that bad after all. If someone else had lived my day, she or he might have considered it less than great, but not all that bad in the greater scheme of things. Just a part of the life of a parent, they might say. To be expected, but not by me.

The events of the last 24 hours brought me out of my individual cocoon of dormant life. Threads were pulled until the raw exposed body remained and I was faced with the choice: Do I find another wrapping to hide inside, or do I face the elements head on. Here’s the thing about these choices, there’s really only one option. If we hide, life will simply find another way to unwrap us, and chances are, it will be a harsher exposure than the one we face at the present moment.

To hide is to put off the inevitable. We are here to learn and grow, and quite often that learning and growing is not just for our sake, but for others as well. Our lives weave together in a sophisticated complexity that our minds cannot wholly grasp. Sometimes it’s better not to ask the full depth of they “why,” then, but to accept the growth that is offered.

Therein lies the beauty. The raw self exposed begins to heal. Air breathes through the freshly opened wounds and the light that feeds life spreads its golden filaments to repair what was once broken. Now I find myself peering inside the wound(s), trusting the network that I cannot wholly understand. How my life is woven to others. Some I barely know, some I have known since conception. I find myself seeing the love that has already woven its threads through the hurt and the pain. I find trust and strength that I didn’t know was there. There is a vulnerability that feels both uncomfortable and embracing.

It could have been worse, much worse, and I am grateful that is wasn’t. Today has been a reminder, above all else, of what is constant and unchanging, albeit difficult to hold onto at times. And that, simply, is love. No matter how difficult we make it for ourselves to find it, it is always there. That constant pulse of life threading through all of us. Love. Pure and simple, yet infinitely complex in its reach. And so I breathe it in with each inhale and trust that it is always enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting Go: A Path to Inner Peace

On my Inner Truth Healing Facebook page I asked my audience for blog topic suggestions, and a friend asked me to write about the energetic freedom of “letting go” of the expectation of a certain type of relationship with someone else, in particular with a family member. This is a multifaceted topic, which I feel ultimately reduces to those first two words: “letting go.” First, let me clarify that when I say “letting go,” I do not mean you should, in anyway, let go of your personal power, quite often this is what is creating the imbalance or perceived difficulty in the relationship.

Energy is able to flow freely when we let go of attachments or constrictions. This, in the broader sense, is the concept of letting go. The ability to allow the universal life-force energy to flow in and out of you without the limiting factors of fears. Easier said, than done, I know.

Most of us come into the world with past-life fears bundled into our soul energy, and in our present lives our fears are wrapped-up in different forms. A pattern develops, and it is up to us to find out how to unweave the threads and set the energy free. We are, like my friend Karen Kubicko (who is writing a book on her past lives) likes to say, living in a classroom called Life.  When we master a lesson, or fear, we let go of the restrictions it creates. Sometimes this takes many lifetimes.

For example, I have had several lifetimes (I currently know of at least 4), where I have experienced disempowerment on a fairly large scale. In one of my earliest lifetimes I was a male healer in a clan where my abilities were a threat, and jealousy also arose regarding my love interest. I was murdered by a severe blow to the head. Later, I had a life as a male eunuch, literally emasculated via castration. In my most recent past life (that I am aware of), I tried to flee from, and was eventually caught, and likely killed by the Nazis in WWII. The trauma of this ordeal used to haunt my childhood dreams in the form of a reoccurring nightmare of trying to flee from an unseen monster in a dark forest of pines. In my child-mind, I formed new characters based on my present life fears.

In one of my lives as a writer, my written words were used against me. In this current life, it took me years to garner the courage to write and share my words, and, to this day, I have no urge to keep a daily journal.

We carry not only our past lives with us, but also the lives of our ancestors. I come from a lineage of women (and some men) afraid to speak their truths, unsure of their voices because they have learned to doubt them, and have often been harmed when they have tried to speak with the conviction of their hearts.

With just this information, you could hardly be surprised to learn that one of my challenges in this life is using my voice/personal power with assertion and confidence. I chose as a young child to err on the side of silence, and still try to avoid conflict whenever possible. Yet, despite my best efforts, I still sometimes attract what I most fear. We all do.

Bullies have appeared in my path since before I was born, happy to take the power that I too freely give away. We get back what we send out. If we live in a state of victimhood, people projecting an over-abundance of masculine energy will cross our path and happily take away our power. They may not project this “bully” behavior towards everyone, but they will when they meet someone who is an energetic magnetic to this energy.

I’m not such an easy target as I used to be, but this stepping into my personal power has not occurred without effort and much healing work. In this process of healing, I have learned to look at people differently.

Most of us, at some point, or at various points in our lives, have a desire to change another person so that s/he will love or like us more, or vice-versa. When I am honest with myself, I can think of few people whom I have not wanted to change in some way, and at some point during my relationship with them.

When we have a desire to change someone else, our soul is really asking for us to change, or heal, something within ourselves. This relates to the idea that those who live peaceful lives of acceptance, like the Buddha, have no need or desire to try to change the world around them, including the people they encounter. Peace comes from within.

So how do we let go of that need/desire for change in others? Usually what we want to change in one person is repeated in another form in someone else. A pattern develops, and just when we think we’ve rid ourselves of a particular type of person/problem, that person/problem appears in another form. This happens because you have agreed to work on that challenge in this life, and it will not disappear until you have mastered it.

Often, those people who are triggering a negative reaction in you, have made a soul contract with you to help you over-come, or release this challenge, and your contract will only be released when the lesson is learned, and the energetic attachment is set free. Sometimes you both need to learn from each other.

This idea has helped me immensely, and has caused my perception of “difficult” or “challenging” people in my lives to change. I, in essence, view everyone as a teacher, sometimes I know I am their teacher, and accept this as my role in their lives, but most often I see how I can learn from my experiences with the energy they project that is challenging for me. Now, I ask myself what the lesson is for me, and how can I garner the most learning from a particular experience or interaction.

When I react impulsively, in a way that I will later regret, I look at the fear-based energy that is restricting the flow of freedom within me. Why is it still resisting this flow? Usually, more internal work needs to be done, but I have been given a gift. The gift of another try. We need not beat ourselves up when patterns repeat, instead we should remember the difficult challenges/lessons we have agreed to take on in our lives.

What happens when you have a family member who serves as a difficult teacher for you in this life, causing your relationship to be strained. It can be like a constant reminder of your fears, which isn’t always pleasant for both parties involved. I have two children, and, if you ask my daughter, my eldest, who I favor, she would tell you her brother. Perhaps not an easy concept to admit as a parent, as I believe most of us like to think we love and treat our children in an equal manner.

Although my love for my daughter knows no bounds, she is, without a doubt, one of my greatest teachers in this life. We made a soul contract going into this life, she didn’t have to reincarnate again, but she did, for me, my husband and my son. She is an incredible gift. Yet, she is infinitely challenging for all of us! Her power center and voice are strong and sure, she speaks her mind with conviction, often relentlessly. She tests my patience and my strength daily. I need her in my life, and she knows it. I can’t imagine a greater gift of love.

If our teachers were always kind and compassionate, would we learn to over-come our deepest struggles? Although my daughter is still a child, she knows, in the way she can understand, that she is a teacher for me. It can be frustrating, I realize, when the other person does not remember their soul-contract with you in this life. I have those people around me too, and sometimes my contract with them has been filled, but they have not fulfilled their contract with me.

Should this change how we perceive challenging people, or how we interact with them? Probably not. We have two logical options: we can free them from their soul-contracts in this life by cutting our energetic cords with them, or we can keep them as teachers. Ending our present-life contracts often result in ending our present day relationships with these people, and we should not view this as a failure, as our soul will know that this is what is best for both parties involved. We have simply done enough, it’s time to move on, it’s time to release the strained energy.

Or, we can choose to continue to teach and learn from them. Even though I have fulfilled my soul-contract obligations with some of my family members, I still learn from them, and I am hoping they, in their way, learn from me. They still serve to remind me of what I need to heal within, and where my energy tends to constrict.

I believe that when we learn a life lesson, the triggers for it abate. A pattern of “challenging” encounters with people either go away, or the effects they have on us change. When the peace within us is bright enough, nothing can take away its light.

Please feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences, and if you have a healing-related topic you would like me to blog about, please let me know.

Teach Your Children Well

This morning, at the same time I was off-line erasing a page of my memoir manuscript into a poem about bringing lunches to grade school that were fodder for shame and teasing, a friend of mine was composing me a message about an unfortunate lunchroom experience regarding our daughters. It was not a joy-filled event, reading about my daughter’s unkind words and how they had hurt one of her peers. Things happen for a reason, the universe calls our attention to places where we need to focus our energies so that we can create opportunities for learning and shifting.

I sit writing this while listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Life is a circle of lessons premised on love. We learn from your children, they learn from us. Our greatest gift is to “teach them well.” This afternoon I will be sitting down with my daughter to talk about love and compassion. We’ll discuss the energy of words and how much it hurts when we are the recipient of an unkind word or action.  We’ll talk about how it’s okay to lead, as long as no one is left behind. That to be a true leader, one should lead with love that wraps and uplifts.  And we’ll talk about how it hurts ourselves, perhaps even more, when we hurt others. My daughter came home from school yesterday in a foul mood, and I knew something was bothering her from the events of the day, yet she chose not to share them with me.

When I was a child, I was shamed by my unconventional lunches. I looked at the slabs of nutrient-filled home-made bread only partially covering thick slabs of cheese and sprouts curling around the edges, and thought only about how much I wanted to throw my lunch away because my peers teased me. Yesterday, a child threw her lunch away because of my daughter. It breaks my heart. It brings me no comfort knowing that she is not the only child to do this in the lunchroom. Instead, it reinforces the need to teach my child well.

As most of us know, bullying starts from a place of fear. A child will bully to be popular. Children want to be loved and accepted by their peers (just as they want to be loved and accepted at home). I am comforted in the fact that I live in a community where many parents care enough to be involved in their children’s lives, and not to turn a blind-eye when their own child causes pain and suffering to others.

Now, I await the passing of hours until my daughter comes home off the bus, while I thank the universe for sending us this lesson and opportunity for growth. I hope that together we can shift this lunch-room atmosphere into a place of love and acceptance, that we will be joined by other parents and children who sit together and learn from each other in order to create an environment where everyone is treated with respect and compassion.

“Teach Your Children Well” — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Listen to Your Heart Song

I graduated college with two degrees, one in English and one in biology, and three different graduate programs/schools to choose from. Looking back it’s easy enough to see that I was confused about what direction I wanted to follow, but instead of  looking inward for the answers, I did what I was used to doing. I looked outward. I chose prestige. I accepted the PhD track program in molecular biology and biochemistry at the ivy league school, telling myself as I did so that I could go anywhere (5-7 years later) with that degree beside my name. I lasted a year, during which I was mostly miserable.

Dropping out of that program was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I felt I had failed myself and my family. I had yet to fully realize I was trying to live someone else’s dream. Of course, if I knew what I know now I would not have gone. I would have heeded the voice of spirit that would often startle me from my dreams by shouting my name, “Alethea,” in my ear. Ah, that call to Truth ignored!

Some of us choose detours full of bumps and hurdles before we finally start walking our true paths. Ask a five year old what she wants to be when she grows up, and pay attention. It’s likely she’ll answer from her soul’s truth – that place inside of her that still knows without the trappings of ego or other people’s truths, why she came into this life. When I was five I knew without a shadow of a doubt I was here to be a writer, a mom and do something bigger than myself  to help the world.  But, I held tightly to two of those truths, afraid to follow their songs.

Today, I was reminded, as I often am these days, how important it is to listen to my heart’s song. I spent the morning talking about poetry and writing erasure poems with my daughter’s third grade class. Time flew, and I left with more energy, so much more, than I awoke with. This is what happens when we follow our soul’s truth. We feel energized and alive. We feel wonderful.

Each time I write a piece of prose or a poem with the lyrics of my heart, my being sings with the energy that I have allowed to flow. A few years ago, when I went to graduate school again, this time for writing, I experienced this sensation, which I also call “home,” nearly every moment of each day. I never doubted I was where I belonged. For my teaching practicum I followed the internal tug drawing me to the state’s prison for women, and was rewarded by the sensation of walking on air almost every time I would pass through its doors to return home. Not only was I teaching what I loved, I was helping women like me. Women who had lost their voices by going down the wrong path.

Even though it took me many years to follow my heart song, I feel fortunate and grateful each day that I have found my path of Truth. The trappings of the ego, of guilt, and of fear, can be strong and over-powering. It can take great courage to break free from their holds. Although I take pleasure out of my own children’s successes in life that are ego-based, I desire above all else for them to find and follow their own heart songs.

If you have not yet followed your own path of truth, take a moment to go back to that five year old self still inside you. Ask her what makes her sing. If you end your days depleted and cranky, you are probably on a detour. In contrast, if most of your days are filled with energy and light, you are listening to the lyrics of your heart song. When you do this, you nurture yourself and the universe. You are living your soul’s purpose.

Stepping into Joy

I love Denise Linn and her wisdom. Today these words of hers appeared on my FB wall, “When you step into your joy, you’ll recognize the need to release people that consistently make you feel anything less. Be your own fierce protector.”

The more light we let in, the less room there is for pain. Pockets of dense matter suddenly start breaking away. But, it is not always an easy process. In my last blogs I have  spoken of my struggle to heed the urgings of my guides and their messages that have often come through so strongly in my dreams and meditations. Recognizing that I have immersed myself and my family in an environment that I had tried to believe was premised on love and community, but was really dominated by the undertones of fear, has been difficult, at best.

These last few weeks I have struggled to break free. I have felt anger, sadness, guilt and remorse. I have felt alone, as the resistance extends to my family. But I have also felt the undertones of freedom and my own personal power. I know that sometimes relationships are meant to end, having served out their purposes, it is time to move on. Yet, sometimes we need to be “fierce” in our approach to break free from an environment that we now recognize as abusive. The other people involved will not see themselves in the same way we now perceive them, as they are still living in that place trapped by pain. They will often try to keep your ties firmly knotted, so that you remain in a place of less light. It makes them feel better. It makes their pain bodies feel powerful.

I also know that I have benefitted from these circumstances. Each is a lesson; a chance to grow and move to a place of more light and healing. More light seeps into the pockets of pain, breaking away the dense energy that has been trapped. I am reminded that when we are called to move beyond a place of pain, all parties benefit, even if it is not recognized. The worst thing we can do is to stay in an effort to protect the egos of others. We must have the courage to see beyond to the soul, realizing that when we act from the seat of our heart, we can only help the souls of others.